Stephen Colbert, God, and suffering

Stephen Colbert, who took over for David Letterman on The Late Show last week, is an iconoclastic comedian.  But he is also a devout Catholic.  When he was 10 years old, he lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash.  He talks about his faith and how he handled that tragedy–also J. R. R. Tolkien and how gratitude points to God– in an interview with GQ Magazine, excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

Sesame Street and the free market

Sesame Street has signed a deal with HBO that will allow the popular children’s show to double the number of original episodes that it will produce next year.  Those shows will be shown free on Public Television nine months later.

In the meantime, we can see the difference in how a free market supplies a public good as opposed to government financing. [Read more…]

ABC’s predictions for June, 2015

We often make predictions here at the Cranach blog, but we also do what often does not happen elsewhere:  we check them.  So it’s fitting to consider the predictions of some ABC programming seven years ago, projecting what June, 2015 would be like.  Gas was supposed to be over $9 a gallon.  Milk cost $13.  And New York City would be underwater.  Among other things.

See one of the videos and read an account of the predictions after the jump. [Read more…]

Slow TV

Americans are taking advantage of streaming and on-demand-video to indulge in “binge TV,” watching a series’ entire season in a few sittings.  Norwegians, though, are watching television in a completely different way.  They are watching real-time renditions of train rides and ocean voyages.  Or twelve hours of knitting.  They are calling it “slow TV,” and it’s coming to America.  Do you see the attraction? [Read more…]

Paying tribute to “The Simpsons” co-creator

Sam Simon, one of the original creators of “The Simpsons,” died at age 59 of colon cancer.  To pay tribute, what are some of your favorite “Simpsons” bits? [Read more…]

Live-blog the Super Bowl commercials

A curious development in the history of the NFL championship game has been the role of commercials.  Viewership is so huge for the big game that ad agencies have been going all-out to come up with the best commercials they can devise.  So commercials have become themselves a beloved part of the festival.  And for much of America whose teams didn’t make it into the game and for people who don’t care that much about football at all but go to watch parties anyway, the commercials are the best part.

So this is the place to live-blog the commercials.  Which ones work and which ones don’t?  Which is the best?  Which ones are really bad?  Which ones are clever, funny, or mildly amusing?  Do any of them actually make you want to buy their products?  Are any of them as good as this one?